Josh and I have always been fans of the staycation, but with a baby it can be tough to get these together. Recently, we’ve found that not over-planning can really help build in success for all involved. For Father’s Day weekend, we decided to enjoy some local adventures in a relaxed way. We still haven’t nailed down a sitter in our new city, so a Friday night date was out of the question. Now that Willow can sit in a high chair (assisted), bringing her to dinner with us is fun again. (There was a not-fun zone between 4 months until this past weekend when she wanted no part of her carseat but was not comfortable just being held).
Anyway! Friday we grabbed dinner at a cute little spot in our neighborhood. She was the “big baby” at the restaurant for the first time — a mom with an 8-week-old sat next to us. So cute! After putting Wills down, we got into some serious Game of Thrones watching (please don’t tell me anything — we just started Season One this week, shameful I know) and drifted off to sleep. Saturday was rainy and kind of gross, but we made the most of it with more GOT while Willow napped, followed by a quick trip into Manhattan for lunch at The Smith with Josh’s mom. It’s always remarkable to me when we go back to one of our old places and nothing has changed, yet everything has.
Josh and I started going to The Smith for special brunches, intimate yet fun dinners with dear friends, and weekend meetups with his mom years ago. It was wild bringing Willow there and sitting in the same dining room where so many big conversations have happened for us. The only thing that was different (aside from having a child eating bananas on my lap) was my order. Summer is upon us, so Mama ditched her usual potato waffles Benedict (I know…) for a salad. Okay, a salad plus a Bloody with Tito’s. Weekend, y’all!
Sunday, though, was the most glorious. Willow and I had prepared a few special gifts for Josh over the course of the past few weeks, including a lighter weight version of our favorite Dad shirt from SlyFox Threads (he’s been wearing the fleece one to walk Harry every day since Christmas). We also made him a really sweet picture frame that we hand-painted with her little prints and placed a picture from our recent photo shoot inside of. I am all about meaningful, handmade gifts, but when they come out really cute, even better. I’ll get a super-easy tutorial up on this by the end of the week.
I woke up with Wills at 6:45 and we took a long walk around the neighborhood to let Josh sleep. We went to Starbs (natch) and then stumbled upon an awesome market where I grabbed him a bagel to include with his morning treats. We headed home by 9 and I fixed Joshy some breakfast while he and Willow played. Josh always makes the weekend breakfasts around here, so I was pretty nervous about my performance, but it turned out great — and you can never go wrong with mimosas on a hot morning, right?
Willow took a FOUR-HOUR NAP after breakfast, so we just vegged-out, watched more GOT, and took naps ourselves. Afterward I told Josh we should go wherever he wanted and do whatever he wanted, so it was off to the Japanese market in Edgewater, about a 20-minute drive from here. We drove along the water, with NYC spread out gloriously to the East. Inside the market, everyone was moving a mile a minute and Wills was absolutely mesmerized. Josh and I each got a bowl of Chirashi (Japanese dish of raw fish on a bed of rice) and then wandered around getting some groceries. We also picked up Willow’s first Hello Kitty loot, a little fork and spoon I couldn’t resist. Then we went outside to look at the water while sharing a massive Matcha soft-serve ice cream. (I swear, I got in line for the plain tea, but that dessert was calling my name).
There are some cute little shops right next door, so we checked those out. Of course, no one could get enough of Willow; one woman even told me she was sure that I was wearing a fake baby until she saw a big movement: “She is just like a little doll! How do you know she’s real?” Ha. I agree. I’m a big sucker for photo booths and my obliging husband got in one with me at the market. What fun! Willow is way too young for a trip to Asia, but this tiny slice of Japanese culture was really amazing to share with her. She loved all the colors, faces, and sounds. I can’t wait to one day bring her to Japan so she (and I!) can experience that part of her heritage together.
But alas, this was only a staycation, so it had to end after a few hours. As we drove home, there was a hot downpour and Willow watched the drops through the windows in amazement. We arrived back at the apartment, shot some product for the blog, and then snuggled in for some family chill time before putting the NOT TIRED baby down after quite a fight.
Josh and I have been longing for a vacation for a while now. We never took a baby moon, because I just didn’t want to spend the money on a vacation where I would be hot, uncomfortable, and unable to enjoy food (and drinks!) freely. Our jaunts to Dallas and elsewhere since having Wills have been fantastic, but we really want to get a big trip on the calendar soon. It’s in the weekends like this one, though, when I always end up remembering. Travel is amazing, and definitely something we want to be a big part of Willow’s life. But family bonding time, screen-free, can happen anywhere. Maybe it was just a local restaurant, a Japanese mall, and a couple of strolls down Memory Lane, but this weekend was pure magic. And I can’t wait to have another just like it soon.
Our funny bunny turned seven months yesterday. I can’t believe it!